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The cat-falls are tackle-falls attached to the cat-head at the bow of a sailing vessel. These multi-purchase tackles -- often six- or even eight-part falls, meaning that the line runs between three sheaves in the cat-head and a three-sheave block -- are used to secure a pendant-anchor to the bow. After the anchor has been hauled up to the surface by the capstan, the cat-falls would be affixed to it. The mechanical advantage provided by the falls would allow men to haul the anchor up snugly to the cat-head. A fish-davit could then be rigged with a tackle to haul the dangling flukes of the anchor aboard so that the whole might be bowsed tightly to the bow to prevent its movement. Hauling directly on the cat-falls allows for more precise movement than does use of the capstan.

When preparing to drop anchor, all additional lashings are removed so that the anchor is pendant solely on the cat-head and cat-falls. An anchor thus situated is said to be "catted".

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